1. Three more senior Googlers leave for startups
2. Can Android spur innovation like the Japanese mobile industry has?
3. The four horsemen of the DRM apocalypse

googlelogo010408.pngThree more senior Googlers leave for startups — Kevin Fox, a user experience designer for Google, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Calendar 1.0, and Google Reader 2.0. Now he’s going to work for an un-named “very small start-up,” he says on his blog. David Hirsch, an eight year Google sales veteran currently based in New York, is leaving to become an angel investor, Silicon Alley Insider reports. Nathan Stoll, a product manager of Google News, is leaving for “new endeavors,” he blogs — we’re guessing he’ll end up working at or investing in startups.

Can Android spur innovation like the Japanese mobile industry has? — Google has a long, hard fight in front of it if Android is to succeed, according to academic researchers in Japan and the US. They compared Google’s Android mobile software development kit (SDK) with the evolution of the Japanese mobile applications, as well as with rival efforts by Linux-based SDK MontaVista, Symbian, Microsoft, Apple and RIM. (You have to pay to read report; but graphical excerpt is below). For a more optimistic perspective, see here.

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The four horsemen of the DRM apocalypse — Sony BMG is joining the other three major labels to free some of its music collection from digital rights management (DRM) software restrictions, BusinessWeek reports. Lots of discussion on Techmeme.